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Jul 19, 2006 06:43 PM

Best food in San Francisco & The East Bay – Markets (produce, cheese, meat, fish, bakeries, coffee etc)

This isn’t meant to be comprehensive or list every shop in the area ... only the best.

If there isn’t a website, I listed a Chowhound report with the address. A newspaper article is the link if there were no Chowhound reports. Searching Chowhound will result in good tips for many of these shops.

I’ll update periodically with the suggestions in this topic noting additions with an edit comment at the end of this post.

I keep this list for my own info, so I don’t have to keep googling for websites. I would ask people NOT link to this in the future when questions about the best market, bakery, etc. are asked on the board.

Things change and it might discourage some great new hint. After a few days when a topic has run its course, then it's ok to link to this post as supplemental info, if anyone wants to.

*** Tops in its category IMNSHO (in my not so humble opinion)


*** Acme (SF, Berkeley, various markets)
Arizmendi / Cheeseboard (SF, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland
Bay Bread Boulangerie (SF)
Bread Garden (Oakland)
Crixa (Berkeley)
Emporio Rulli (SF & Marin)
Feel Good Bakery - Alameda
Golden Gate Bakery (pork buns, custard tarts) (SF) scroll waaay down
La Farine (Berkeley - morning buns)
Liguria (SF- focaccia)
*** Lola’s (Berkeley)
Masse's Pastries (Berkeley)
Neldham's (Oakland)
Schubert's (SF)
Sweet Adeline (Berkeley)
Tartine Bakery (SF)
Victoria Bakery (SF)


24th Street Cheese Co (SF) (scroll down
Cowgirl Creamery’s Artisan Cheese Shop (SF)
*** The Cheese Board, (Berkeley)


Blue Bottle (SF, Berkeley)
Caffé Roma (SF)
*** Graffeo (SF)
Martha & Brothers Coffee (SF)
Peet's Coffee (various locations)
Ritual Roasters
Far Leaves Tea (Berkeley, Emeryville
Imperial Tea (SF, Berkeley
*** Teance (Albany)
Ten Ren Tea (SF


This is not my area of expertise and I hope people will post about the well known shops. There are many markets and shops in the Mission, Chinatown, and Clement Street offering fresh meat, seafood and produce at rock bottom prices. Upper Geary has many Eastern European shops.

99 Ranch Market (various locations)
New World Market
The Spanish Table (SF & Marin)


Alemany (SF)
Berkeley Farmers Markets (Berkeley)
*** Ferry Plaza (SF)
Old Oakland (Oakland)
SF Civic Center (SF)

Other area farmers markets

Italian Delis

A.G. Ferrari (various locations)
Genova Deli (Oakland)
Lucca Delicatessen (SF)
Molinari Delicatessen (SF)


Alameda Marketplace (Alameda
Andronico's (various locations)
*** Berkeley Bowl (Berkeley)
Bi-Rite Market (SF)
Ferry Plaza Market Place
Mollie Stone's (various locations)
Monterey Market
Natural Grocery Companies (Berkeley & El Cerrito
Rainbow Grocery, (SF)
The Pasta Shope (Oakland, Berkeley
Whole Foods (various locations)


The above markets all have good meat and seafood departments. Check ethnic markets for inexpensive and fresh (even live) products. This article from the SF Chronicle discusses “building a repertoire with the local fishmonger”

The most farmers markets have fish and meat vendors. The Alemany market, for example, sells live chickens and you can buy a hundred small oysters from Pt Reyes Oyster for as little as $35. The Ferry Plaza Market has a number of top of the line meat vendors like Hoffman chickens and game birds. Many vendors, especially seafood, are dependant upon weather and season. They may not be there every week.

Barron's Meats (Alameda
Bobby Lee’s Country Smokehouse
Bryan's (SF)` (and other butcher shops)
Café Rouge (Berkeley)
Ferry Plaza Merchants (SF)
Guerra Quality Meats (SF)
Little City Market (SF) See Bryan’s link
Magnani Poultry
Monterey Fish (Berkeley)
*** Tokyo Fish (Berkeley)
Ver Brugge Foods (Oakland ... see Bryan’s Link)


Boulette’s Larder (SF)
Yum (SF)
(more yum info until website completed – scroll down


Recchuiti (SF)
Scharffen Berger (various locations)
Schmidt (SF)
Sees (various locatios)
*** XOX (SF, Oakland)

*** Note: Edited July 20 about 11 pm to include most of the shops mentioned up to that time. There are a few pending: Real Foods, Say Cheese, Cole Coffee and Village Market ... and who knew Monterey Market had a website ... good for them.

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  1. Don't forget Magnani Poultry for chicken, duck, rabbit, ("Mom, can we have flopsy bunny in a mustard sauce tonight?"), and lovely lamb.

    Magnani Poultry
    1576 Hopkins
    Berkeley CA
    510 528 6370

    across the street from Monterey Market

    1. rw, this is an excellent list! Two of the Bay Area places I miss most are Berkeley Bowl and Genova. The former, in particular, elicits longing looks and lots of salivation amongst expats I know...

      1. Excellent list. I would add Fatted Calf. Although they are *only* a Farmers' Market vendor their product line is so unique and delicious that I believe they deserve a separate billing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Morton the Mousse

          I totally agree! The duck liver mousse and the sausages we've had from Fatted Calf were outstanding! Amazing. Their email newsletter is also charming. A great treasure!

        2. I would add El Cerrito Natural and Monterey Market in the East Bay. Also Good Earth Natural in Fairfax which has every other store beat in my experience (though maybe not in terms of selection because they have a strict criteria)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Missmoo

            Thanks. I keep hearing such good things on the boad about El Cerrito Natural. This gives me the push to FINALLY stop in and check it out.

          2. Italian deli -- Lucca Ravioli in the Mission on Valencia & 22nd is my favorite

            Bakery -- Della Fattoria in Petaluma and available at the Saturday Ferry Plaza farmer's market


            1 Reply
            1. re: farmersdaughter

              Thanks. I put Della Fratoria in a separate post about North Bay food markets